McDonald’s suspends walk-in takeaway in wake of national lockdown

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

McDonald’s suspends walk-in takeaway in wake of national Coronavirus lockdown in England

Related tags Mcdonald's Coronavirus lockdown Fast food

McDonald's is to suspend offering walk-in takeaway from its branches in the UK and Ireland in order to allow the chain time to review and reassess its safety procedures.

The fast food giant, which operates some 1,300 sites across the UK, said its restaurants would remain open for drive thru and delivery services while England's third national lockdown, which came into effect today (6 January) and will last for at least seven weeks, was ongoing.

However, walk-in takeaway services will be temporarily closed while the chain reassesses its internal operating procedures with an independent health and safety body.

During the first lockdown McDonald's made the decision to cease all operations from 23 March, remaining closed for over a month before trialling some limited drive thru and delivery operations in May.

However, during England's second national lockdown in November, the chain chose to keep all sites open​ for takeaway, drive thru and delivery.

Announcing the latest changes, McDonald's UK and Ireland chief executive Paul Pomroy said: "Following the latest government announcements, our restaurants will remain open for Drive-Thru and McDelivery services and Click & Serve for Drive-Thru which is available via the My McDonald's App.

"Our dine-in and walk-in takeaway services will be temporarily unavailable while we take time to review and reassess our safety procedures with an independent health and safety body.

"This is a temporary change in our operations to allow us to test and validate any additional measures that may further enhance the safety of our takeaway service."

McDonald's has advised customers that with smaller teams and social distancing in the kitchens, services will be slower.

The chain launched a new takeaway model across its UK restaurants earlier this week, which aims to prevent long queues at its drive-thru sites.

Available via the My McDonald’s App, the ‘Click & Serve’ service will allows customers to order through the app, then drive to a restaurant, where they will be instructed to wait for their meal in allocated parking bays.

Customers will pay via the app, and the food will be delivered to their car window in takeaway bags on a tray – to ensure a contact-free service.

It comes as McDonald's UK & Ireland business released historic 2019 financial results, with the fast food chain reporting total profits for the year of £320m from a turnover of £1.4bn.

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